Government Policies and the Shifting Place of International Schools in the Education System

  • Hyejin KimEmail author
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Education book series (BRIEFSEDUCAT)


International schools appear to form isolated islands in a country’s education landscape. Traditionally, they have been so in many places. However, with the corporatization of international schools and efforts to attract local students, international schools have been brought into greater contact with local education policy. In many places, parents wish to send their children to an international school; those schools have been only too eager to pursue local students. These factors place a great deal of pressure on barriers separating national education systems from international schools. Governments have been forced to respond. Should international schools be separate from the education system? Or should they be incorporated into it? Should local students be allowed to attend? What defines “local” versus non-local students? States now grapple with these questions.


  1. CBS News. (2013, July 17). Beijing pollution forces students to play under dome. Accessed January 5, 2018.
  2. Chan, S. H., & Tan, H. (2006). English for mathematics and science: Current Malaysian language-in-education policies and practices. Language and Education, 20(4), 306–321.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chong, K. (2016, September 24). The Straits Times. Accessed July 12, 2018.
  4. Conventus Law. (2017, July 10). Vietnam: New draft decree on foreign cooperation and investment in education. Accessed July 12, 2018.
  5. Education Investor. (2017, July 17). Expansion for Vietnam.Google Scholar
  6. Gaskell. R. (2017, May 9). Dragon in the Box. International Teacher Magazine. Accessed July 12, 2018.
  7. Hayden, M. (2006). Introduction to international education: International schools and their communities. London: SAGE.Google Scholar
  8. Jakarta Globe. (2014, December 1). Accessed July 12, 2018.
  9. Kang, J. (2004). Hanguk hyeondaesa sanchaek 1960, vol 3. (Modern history of Korea, the 1960s). Inmulgoasasangsa.Google Scholar
  10. Kim, Y. (2016). Shadow education and the curriculum and culture of schooling in South Korea. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Ku, Y. (2014, September 28). From Gangnam, 24 out of 100 Koreans in international schools in Jeju Island (in Korean). Ohmynews. Accessed June 19, 2018.
  12. Lee, K. J. (2011). The semiotics of Singapore’s founding myths of multiracialism and meritocracy. The American Sociologist, 42(2), 261–275.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. (2015, May 19). Malaysian parents choose international schools over national schools.Google Scholar
  14. Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013–2025. (2013). Ministry of Education. Accessed August–September 2017.
  15. Mandal, S. K. (2000). Reconsidering cultural globalization: The English language in Malaysia. Third World Quarterly, 21(6), 1001–1012.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Maulia, E., & Khalik, A. (2014, December 4). With rules hazy, international schools in Indonesia are left in confusion. Jakarta Globe. Accessed June 10, 2018.
  17. New Straits Times. (2017, April 28). Malaysian parents pinched by rising international school fees.Google Scholar
  18. Relocate Global. (2018, January 29). The changing face of international education in Indonesia. Accessed July 12, 2018.
  19. The Pie News. (2017, May 17). Vietnam: local enrolments at foreign schools expected to grow after cap removed. Accessed July 12, 2018.
  20. Verger, A., Fontdevila, C., & Zancajo, A. (2016). The privatization of education: A political economy of global education reform. New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  21. Vietnam Australia International School. (2017, July 14). International school or international bilingual school? Considering the students’ outcomes and family finances. Accessed July 12, 2018.
  22. Visscher, S. (2007). The business of politics and ethnicity: A history of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Singapore: NUS Press.Google Scholar
  23. Welch, A. (2011). Higher education in Southeast Asia: Blurring borders, changing balance. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Yang, H. (2011). International schools in China amid globalization and marketization of education. Social Studies Education, 50(2), 117–132.Google Scholar
  25. Yang, L., & Ishak, S. A. (2012). Framing controversy over language policy in Malaysia: The coverage of PPSMI reversal (teaching of mathematics and science in English) by Malaysian newspapers. Asian Journal of Communication, 22(5), 449–473.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Yoo. S. (2012, October 13). D international school being involved with illegal admission (in Korean). Chosun Ilbo. Accessed February 2018.

Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Arts and Social SciencesNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore

Personalised recommendations